Ahead of the Pack

Read on for a profile of pedro henrique, account development manager for wings travel management and based in london.

Your journey with Wings began as a Grosvenor Travel employee prior to the acquisition so how long had you been working there?
I have been working with Grosvenor Travel and Wings Travel for a combined 12 years now. I started on the 2nd January 2007 – it was a New Year and the start of a new life – and it still feels like it was yesterday. The culture of the two companies wasn’t that different. The Wings culture is a professional, business-focussed approach with a spotlight on global scale whereas Grosvenor was more relaxed with no expansion in sight. The Wings approach is more determined, innovative with success-driven mentalities driving the company.

How difficult was it to switch from operations to account manage clients?
It was really easy to be honest due to two key aspects. Firstly, because of my background in operations which stretches back over 15 years I have the knowledge to meet and drive the clients’ goals and satisfaction levels wherever possible and am able to understand and analyse the clients‘ needs to formulate a medium and long-term relationship with them and ensure client retention.
Secondly, my colleagues in the team made me feel very welcome and the fact that I already knew a couple of them for the last 12 years helped. Every single colleague was very helpful and attentive. We have a really great team and they are all outstanding individuals.

What is your experience in the business travel world?
I started my career in travel at the STA Travel HQ in Kensington High Street, London in 2002. I started from the bottom, first as an administrator for the ticketing department – for those who remember physical paper tickets, I used to staple them together and ensure they would be couriered to the correct branches – and then as a ticketer in the same department. I finally reached business travel in 2007 with the former Grosvenor which then became Wings Travel Management. Since then I have dealt with many clients that expect nothing but the best and during that time I have managed to develop some very strong relationships based on trust as a result of clients believing that my knowledge was always getting them the best results.

How have customer demands changed in the last few years? Is there less need for high-touch service as more travel booking has become automated, or more?
They have changed and will continue changing as new generations of CEOs and senior management roles fall into the laps of some younger generations. We still have high-touch clients but also the multi-device mindset of the new generation coming in. They are the true natives of the multi-screen world and have been connected to multiple devices all their lives. They expect a consistent and relevant digital travel experience.

Describe your current responsibilities at the company as part of the Business Development team in London.
Some of the main responsibilities include retaining, increasing and expanding the business and to meeting and exceeding clients’ goals. I act as the brand ambassador if you like.

What do you love about the business travel world?
One of the great things about business travel is the fact that you are able to connect to hundreds of bookers and travel buyers across the world and those relationships are normally turned into life-time business connections. However, the most fantastic part of business travel is understanding client needs and delivering on them.

What is the core message or USP that you use to ‘sell’ Wings to prospective new customers?
Our staff with our can-do attitude and our network of global, wholly-owned offices. This is the main Wings USP from my perspective.

What are the biggest challenges of your job?
I would say the biggest challenges would be time management which is resolved by prioritising and disciplining myself to make sure the clients’ needs are met in a timely manner.

What do you most like about working for Wings?
Working as a team across multiple offices around the world to deliver the best possible solution for clients. My greatest job satisfaction comes from happy and satisfied customers and we achieve that each time. We work as one company, with a seamless service.

Do you manage to switch off when you leave the office behind? Do you have any interesting hobbies / pastimes?
I switch off when I get home because I have two young children, an 11-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. They need full-on attention. My son makes sure we have an “indoor” football tournament on a daily basis as soon as I get home. Spending time with friends and family is what I love doing outside work.

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